Posted in 2022 Reviews Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies Giveaways New Release Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Renovated to Death (A Domestic Partners in Crime Mystery) by Frank Anthony Polito #Review / #Giveaway


Renovated to Death (A Domestic Partners in Crime Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Michigan
Kensington Cozies (May 31, 2022)
Paperback ‏ : ‎ 288 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1496735587
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1496735584
Kindle ASIN ‏ : ‎ B09FFX6T7J

Real-life domestic partners and stars and producers of the new hit reality home renovation show Domestic Partners, bestselling mystery author Peter “PJ” Penwell and actor JP Broadway are enjoying work and life in their sleepy Detroit suburb of Pleasant Woods—until a suspicious death makes an unscripted appearance . . .

After a successful first season of Domestic Partners chronicling the renovation of their historic Craftsman Colonial, Peter and JP are taking on a renovation of a local Tudor Revival inherited by identical twin brothers Terry and Tom Cash. But linoleum floors and a pink-tiled bathroom aren’t the only unwelcome surprises awaiting inside the house . . .

Just as the show is set to start filming, Peter and JP discover Tom Cash dead at the foot of the house’s staircase. And when the police ruling changes from accidental death to homicide, the list of suspects grows fast. Could the killer be the crabby next-door neighbor, the Realtor ex-boyfriend, the bartender’s ex-boyfriend, the other, much younger, ex-boyfriend, or even renovation-reluctant brother, Terry? And what’s that awful smell coming from the basement? Now Peter’s mystery writer skills, and JP’s experience as the former star of a cop show, will be put to the test—as will their relationship while they uncover the secrets of the house and its owners. With a killer on the loose, this is one fixer-upper that may prove deadly . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Bestselling mystery author Peter “PJ” Penwell and actor JP Broadway are real-life partners who have come together to star in and produce Domestic Partners, a hot reality home renovation show. They are getting ready for their second season and have plans to renovate another house in Pleasant Woods, Michigan. Twin brothers Terry and Tom Cash inherited the family home and have let it fall to disrepair. PJ and JP have plans to breathe some life into the home so it can be sold for a pretty penny in this elite Detroit suburb. 

Everything is in place to start filming in a few days when JP and PJ discover Tom Cash dead at the foot of the stairs of their project. The staircase is pretty rickety and that leads the police to rule the death accidental. Later when more information comes to light they declare the event a homicide. Tom ruffled plenty of feathers over the years so there are plenty of suspects including his twin brother Terry. The mystery writer skills in PJ start to kick in as do things actor JP learned playing a cop. They know the killer needs to be found quickly or their new reno project could hit the skids and more people could end up dead.


I was excited to review this book because I love that cozies are getting more diverse and this one is truly testing the waters with the cast almost entirely made up of gay men.

The author took a lot of time to introduce the characters which I really appreciate for the first book in a new series but I felt I really didn’t get to know enough. They just felt a little flat. It may be just me but I started out getting really confused between the two main characters PJ and JP. I finally got it in my head to translate the initials with the characters’ last names, Penwell – Author, Broadway – Actor.  When I did that the story flowed much better. I did like the characters and that is what kept me reading and not throwing the book at the wall. 

We did meet several other characters that were all connected to Tom and Terry. I deal with a set of twins in our family and understand it can be hard to tell them apart which is why I really focused on the differences between Tom and Terry. Who wore what hat? Who had a space between their teeth? Who was more outgoing and who was more passive? Who was enthusiastic about renovating their parent’s home and who wanted it left as is? I really tuned in to how each brother reacted to the people around them too. They may have been identical in looks but different in every other way. It made them very interesting to me and felt they were very well developed.

Mr. Polito penned a very good mystery but I think because I was ultra-focused on the twins I cataloged each clue dropped in a way that had me solving the mystery almost as soon as the death occurred. There were some great twists but they just firmed up my theories.

Something that really struck my heart was PJ and JP trying to adopt a dog. We were disappointed by the pet adoption process ourselves a few years ago and went through some of the same feelings the characters had. Things worked out for us in the long run. You will have to read the book to find out what happens with the Domestic Partners.

I really enjoyed all the descriptions of the homes in Pleasant Woods and that one was turned into a wonderful restaurant. I had hoped for more renovations in this book but the house the stars had previously renovated was mentioned a lot as to what they had done there. I am sure there will be more in the next book.

Renovated to Death lays a good foundation for this series. I am looking forward to more character development of Penwell and Broadway and them getting involved in a more complicated mystery. I am also looking forward to more about their television show including the filming and them actually doing some renovations.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Frank Anthony Polito is an award-winning author and playwright. His published novels include Band Fags (2008 “Best Fiction” – InsightOut Book Club) and Drama Queers (2009 Lambda Literary Award), and the novella “A Christmas to Remember” (the sequel to BAND FAGS!) as featured in the collection Remembering Christmas, and The Spirit of Detroit.

In April 2012, Frank published his first Young Adult novel, Lost in the 90s under his own imprint, Woodward Avenue Books.

Frank grew up in the Detroit suburb of Hazel Park. He received his BFA in Theatre from Wayne State University and his MFA in Dramatic Writing from Carnegie Mellon. He resides in Pleasant Ridge, MI with his partner, Craig Bentley, and their two dogs, Jack and Clyde. He is currently writing a new cozy mystery, Rehearsed to Death, to be published by Kensington Cozies in June 2023.

Author Website

I am giving away my review copy! (ARC)

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with a US mailing address.

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Contest Will End June 16, 2022, at 11:59 PM CST
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and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For The Entry Form

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Posted in 2022 Reviews Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies Finish The Series Challenge Giveaways New Release Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

A Midsummer Night’s Fudge (A Candy-Coated Mystery) by Nancy Coco #Review / #Giveaway @KensingtonBooks @nancyjcoco

This book will be released on Tuesday!


A Midsummer Night’s Fudge (A Candy-Coated Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
10th in Series
Setting – Mackinac Island, Michigan
Kensington Cozies (May 24, 2022)
Mass Market Paperback ‏ : ‎ 304 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1496735536
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1496735539
Kindle ASIN ‏ : ‎ B09FFYSHTJ

After a summer celebration on Michigan’s Mackinac Island ends in murder, hotel and fudge shop owner Allie McMurphy puts on her sleuthing hat . . .
 
THERE’S NO SUGARCOATING A KILLER’S SCHEME
 
During the Midsummer Night’s Festival, Allie decides to take her bichonpoo, Mal, home to spare her furry little ears from the sounds of fireworks. But on her way back, Allie spots a body in the lake. Just minutes ago, Winona Higer was crowning the event’s Queen—could the competition have really been that deadly?

While she ponders the mystery the next morning, Allie prepares her favorite dark chocolate cherry fudge recipe. But she’s soon recruited to sub for the late Winona and serve as parade float judge, among other duties. As she hears rumors and gossip, and learns of mean pranks and threatening notes, her instincts kick in—despite her boyfriend the cop’s disapproval. Now, between managing a new hire and keeping the tourists filled with fudge, she’s dealing with a case that’s boiling over . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

We are back on Mackinac Island just in time for the Midsummer Night’s Festival. There is a variety of events including an outside masquerade ball, a beauty pageant, a bonfire on the beach, plenty of food and drink plus a pig roast, with a fireworks finale.

Like most dogs, Mal is not a fan of fireworks so after the queen has been crowned with a bit of drama Allie takes her pup home. On her way back she sees a body floating in the lake, a woman wearing a white dress with rainbow hair. Allie dives in to save her but it is too late. Winona Higer, the woman in charge of the festival is dead.

Allie can’t get the woman’s death off her mind and is very surprised to be asked to fill Winona’s position on several committees. She realizes by taking her place she may get some information on who could have killed Winona so she accepts. Rex is not happy with her decision especially when he learns of some pranks and threatening notes. He doesn’t want Allie fudging up his investigation and he sure doesn’t want her to be a target for the killer.


It is always a pleasure to visit Mackinac Island and all the wonderful characters Nancy Coco has created. They are some of my cozy mystery favorites. Allie is a very strong protagonist, confident, smart, with a huge heart but this time she made took some super risky moves. She just wasn’t listening at all to Rex’s warnings or at least not taking them seriously. It would have been a terrible shame to have her die so close to home because she ventured out when she shouldn’t have. It did make for some exciting moments though.

Ms. Coco gave Allie and readers a nice selection of suspects to sort through with some twists trying to misdirect everyone’s thinking. I found myself focused on one individual quite early in the story. Something just felt off. There were clues that should have pulled me away from the person but I stuck with them and the story played out in a fantastic way that confirmed every element of my theory. That is something that rarely happens but it is so much fun when it does.

Again, the setting of Mackinac Island and all its uniqueness make the story special. The island is a place where the horse is king, and where the streets have been car-free for over 100 years. Sadly, I have never been there but have seen plenty of pictures. Those along with the author’s descriptions bring each shop, hotel, restaurant, pier, and horse-drawn carriage alive in my mind’s eye. A trip there is on my bucket list but until then I have to settle for the virtual trips the books in this series allow me to take.

A Midsummer’s Night Fudge is a delicious cozy mystery set in an idyllic place filled with delightful characters, an interesting mystery, and recipes too. I really enjoyed my visit and can’t wait to return.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Nancy Coco is the byline chosen by popular author Nancy J. Parra for use exclusively with the Candy-Coated Mysteries series. With degrees in engineering, journalism, and a MA in Writing Popular Fiction, Nancy has published in cozy mystery, romantic suspense, and sweet western historical romances.

An Air Force veteran who rose to the rank of sergeant, Nancy is a member of an online group of female veterans who are authors—“Military Women Who Have Turned Sword to Pen.” The group’s website is www.romvets.com.

Nancy is also a member of Mystery Writers of America and Sisters in Crime. She has given workshops on a number of writing topics and enjoys doing author panels at fan conferences such as Malice Domestic and Bouchercon. She lives in California with her dog—a bichonpoo affectionately known as Little Dog on Nancy’s Facebook and Twitter accounts.

WebsiteTwitterFacebook 

Coming May 24, 2022

Written as Nancy J. Parra

Thanks to the publisher I have 1 copy to give away!

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

You do not have to be a follower to enter but I hope you will find
something you like here and become a follower.

Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.

Plus 2 Bonus Entries For Liking My Facebook Fan Page.

Add this book to your WANT TO READ shelf on GoodReads for 3 Bonus Entries.

Follow Kensington Books on Twitter for 2 Bonus Entries!

Follow Kensington Publishing on Facebook for 2 Bonus Entries

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

If you publicize the giveaway on Twitter or Facebook or anywhere you will receive
5 Bonus Entries For Each Link.

Contest Will End June 2, 2022, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
The Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Posted in 2022 Reviews Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies Finish The Series Challenge Flashback Friday Giveaways Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge TBR Pile Challenge What An Animal Reading Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

#FlashbackFriday featuring Here Comes the Fudge (A Candy-Coated Mystery) by Nancy Coco @KensingtonBooks @nancyjcoco

On Flashback Fridays I will share with you
the books I was not able to review
when they were first released that have been screaming at me
from my To-Be-Read bookshelf.

here comes the fudge
Here Comes the Fudge (A Candy-Coated Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
9th in Series
Setting – Mackinac Island, Michigan
Kensington Cozies (September 28, 2021)
Paperback ‏ : ‎ 272 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1496727606
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1496727602
Kindle ASIN ‏ : ‎ B08RWFKD68

Fudge shop owner Allie McMurphy never expected her maid of honor duties to include clearing the groom of murder . . .

THE BODY OF A CRIME

It’s late spring on picturesque Mackinac Island, Michigan.  Allie is prepping her Historic McMurphy Hotel and Fudge Shop for the start of the tourist season and her best friend Jenn’s wedding. But when Jenn’s fiancé Shane, a crime scene investigator on the island, misses a dinner date, the two friends go looking for him. Led by Allie’s bichonpoo Mal into an alley, they come upon Shane standing over a body with a bloody knife in his hand. Shane won’t say what’s happened, just tells them to call 911. As the CSI is taken into custody by his colleagues, including Allie’s beau Rex Manning, the fudge maker vows to prove her friend’s fiancé is not a killer—before the ceremony turns into a jailhouse wedding . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Tourist season is just starting on Mackinac Island and the McMurphy Hotel and Fudge Shop is going to be very busy. Allie’s best friend Jenn is back in town and she has two weddings lined up with the guests filling the hotel. One of those weddings is her own and she has ticked off everything on her to-do list. The one thing not on her list was MURDER and having her fiancé Shane named the police’s prime suspect has really fudged up her plans. Everyone that knows Shane knows he would never kill anyone but he’s not talking and neither is Allie’s tentative boyfriend Rex. They want Jenn and Allie to leave the investigation to them but the entire town knows there is no way that is going to happen.


I was so happy to return to Mackinac Island. It really is an idyllic setting that I have always wanted to visit. For now, I have to settle for Ms. Coco’s delightful descriptions for a virtual vacation.

The characters in this series have really worked their way into my heart. Allie is happy all the renovations are complete and soon the outside will have a fresh coat of paint and guests will be filling all the rooms and tourists will be popping in to buy her fudge. She is also excited about Jenn’s wedding and wants to be sure everything is perfect for her. True best friends, they stick together through thick and thin. Their guys are being pretty shady in this installment but think they have a good reason. Newlyweds Frances and  Douglas, they are so cute together. They are truly rocks that Allie can always lean on. They really seem to be unflappable no matter the crisis.

With Jenn’s wedding taking place soon Shane’s family is staying off the island, but her family and Allie’s parents all check in to the McMurphy. I loved that Allie’s mom and dad came for the wedding. They are so supportive of everything Allie is doing with the hotel and fudge shop. Plus they were needed when the scheduled plans went awry. They too remained calm under pressure and allowed Allie the time to do a bit of sleuthing along with her maid of honor duties which are vast when the groom is accused of murder.

Ms. Coco has created such a genuine group of core characters for this series. Truthfully most of the people we meet have good hearts and are willing to help anyone in any way they can. It wouldn’t be a murder mystery without a bad apple or two but she hides them very well until all the clues are mixed together and fall into the right place.

The mystery she has penned in Here Comes the Fudge really tugs on the heartstrings because you want Jenn and Shane’s wedding to go off without a hitch. Allie does turn to a group she knows hears all the gossip on the island to try to get to the bottom of the crime. These ladies are a hoot but they are a fantastic source.  The author does an excellent job of twisting things up which means Allie needs more than the seniors can tell her to find the real killer. With plenty of misdirection, I had eliminated the true culprit and was surprised by the very exciting ending.

Romance in this story has an interesting twist too. Allie has a new admirer. . . yup and Rex is not happy.

I can’t forget the fudge recipes. I think I gained 5 pounds just reading them. Peanut Butter and Chocolate Fudge, oh, dear, so easy to make, I am in big trouble.

Here Comes the Fudge is a strong example of a perfect cozy mystery and a Perfect Escape. A strong family element, true friendships, and lovable pets, all brought together with a captivating mystery, plenty of humor, and a smidgen of romance.  I loved it!

The next book in this fun series, A Midsummer Night’s Fudge is being released on May 24. I will be reading and reviewing it soon!

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Nancy Coco is the byline chosen by popular author Nancy J. Parra for use exclusively with the Candy-Coated Mysteries series. With degrees in engineering, journalism, and a MA in Writing Popular Fiction, Nancy has published in cozy mystery, romantic suspense, and sweet western historical romances.

An Air Force veteran who rose to the rank of sergeant, Nancy is a member of an online group of female veterans who are authors—“Military Women Who Have Turned Sword to Pen.” The group’s website is www.romvets.com.

Nancy is also a member of Mystery Writers of America and Sisters in Crime. She has given workshops on a number of writing topics and enjoys doing author panels at fan conferences such as Malice Domestic and Bouchercon. She lives in California with her dog—a bichonpoo affectionately known as Little Dog on Nancy’s Facebook and Twitter accounts.

WebsiteTwitterFacebook 

Coming May 24, 2022

Written as Nancy J. Parra

I am giving away 1 Kindle Copy sent from Amazon.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

You do not have to be a follower to enter but I hope you will find
something you like here and become a follower.

Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.

Plus 2 Bonus Entries For Liking My Facebook Fan Page.

Add this book to your WANT TO READ shelf on GoodReads for 3 Bonus Entries.

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

If you publicize the giveaway on Twitter or Facebook or anywhere you will receive
5 Bonus Entries For Each Link.

Contest Will End May 27, 2022, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
The Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Posted in 2022 Reviews Cozy Wednesday Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Giveaways New Release Challenge

Cozy Wednesday featuring Death on the Set (A Brenna Flynn Mystery) by Rose Kerr #Review / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour @rkerrwriter



Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!
I am happy to share my thoughts about Death on the Set
by Rose Kerr today!

About Death on the Set 


Death on the Set (A Brenna Flynn Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Michigan
TouchPoint Press (March 29, 2022)
Number of Pages: 274
Digital ASIN ‏ : ‎ B09VKB8HH9

Former high school guidance counselor turns amateur sleuth to save herself from murder charge on reality show.

Brenna Flynn, returns home to Bayview City after the sudden death of her husband. Unable to find work in her field, she signs up with a temp agency to find employment. Sent on an interview for a cooking reality show, she aces it and gets the job of a production assistant.

On her second day at work, Brenna discovers a body in the studio. She soon learns she’s the police’s primary suspect. Determined to clear her name, she uses some skills she’s honed as a guidance counselor to learn more about the victim. Drawing people out comes naturally to Brenna, and she becomes a confidante to cast and crew on the show.

The stakes are raised with threatening notes, poisonings, and blackmail. Can Brenna uncover who the killer is before someone else dies?

Dollycas’s Thoughts 

After working as a high school guidance counselor Brenna Flynn knows she can probably handle any job thrown at her until a job opens up at a local school. She quickly accepts a 6-week temp job working as a production assistant for a new cooking reality show featuring three local chefs. But finding one of them dead on just the second day of her assignment would give anyone pause. Finding out she is the police’s prime suspect bolts her into action to clear her name. Using her best counselor skills she tunes in to the entire cast and crew to find out who killed the chef. When more strange things keep happening on the set she knows she doesn’t have much time to find the killer before the recipe for the next death includes her.


I love watching cooking reality shows so I just had to read this book.

Brenna Flynn is like the energizer bunny as she takes on everything thrown at her as the production assistant for a new cooking show and it seems as if her duties now include finding a killer. I loved her positive attitude even after finding a dead body so soon after losing her own husband. People thought she should quit and get away from the drama but she didn’t, she kept working while doing some snooping. Snooping that could have gotten her killed. Ms. Kerr has crafted a strong protagonist and I immediately liked everything about her.

The supporting cast includes her mom and dad, friends, Emily and Kate, her cousin Detective Bob McLean and his partner Detective Clare Morris, Jackie from the temp agency, and the cast and crew at the studio. All the characters were well written and had a purpose to the plot. The powers that be at the studio were more worried about their bottom line than a dead chef. “The show must go on.” Brenna’s family and friends were there for her and tried to keep her safe. I really liked Emily, a lawyer, because while not her regular field she was on the ball to help Brenna in any way she could, even if it was just moral support. All the interactions were believable and true to life.

The mystery was well-plotted. I enjoyed the way the clues spilled out over the course of the story. While the true culprit was high on my list I had no idea of the real motive until Brenna received key information which led up to a very exciting reveal. Again Brenna was amazing!

With Death on the Set, Ms. Kerr has set this series off to a fine start. I am excited to see where she takes her characters next. I am assuming the cast will change as Brenna takes on a new job. I am excited to see the core cast continue to evolve over the course of the series as new characters enter the fray.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About Rose Kerr

Rose Kerr grew up in a small community in Nova Scotia. A graduate of Acadia University’s Bachelor of Arts Degree, Recreation and Physical Education, Rose worked for several organizations: Nova Scotia Figure Skating Association, Synchro Swim Nova Scotia, Northern Options for Women, and Contact North|Contact Nord. She traveled from Newfoundland to British Columbia and most provinces in between for work.

Rose and her husband settled in a small town, on the shores of Lake Superior in Northern Ontario to raise their family. A strong believer in lifelong learning, Rose took creative writing courses and began writing mysteries. More recently, Rose, her husband, and their dog Jake have moved to Southern Ontario. When she isn’t writing, Rose and her husband enjoy exploring the new region.

Rose is a member of Sisters in Crime, the Guppy Online Chapter of Sisters in Crime, and Crime Writers of Canada. For more info visit www.rosekerr.com

Author Links:

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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Posted in 2022 Reviews Alphabet Soup A -Z Author Edition Challenge Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Giveaways New Release Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Put Out to Pasture: An Organic Cozy Mystery (Farm to Table Mysteries) by Amanda Flower #Review / #Giveaway @aflowerwriter @PPPress


Put Out to Pasture: An Organic Cozy Mystery
(Farm to Table Mysteries)

Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – Michigan
Poisoned Pen Press (February 22, 2022)
Mass Market Paperback ‏ : ‎ 312 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1492699942
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1492699941
Kindle ASIN ‏ : ‎ B094X83RXY

There’s fowl play afoot on the farm

Shiloh Bellamy has saved her family’s farm from financial ruin—but now what? She’s barely scraping by on the farm’s new organic business model and the fall festival she organized to drum up business comes to a screeching halt when the body of a prominent townswoman is discovered underneath a scarecrow in a nearby field. Worst of all, the evidence points to Shiloh’s childhood best friend, Kristy, as the prime suspect.

Between cooking up delicious treats made with her farm’s produce, convincing her cantankerous father to let her do things her own way, and dealing with a newcomer in town who could be serious competition for her customers, Shiloh doesn’t have time to wade into a murder investigation. But with a killer on the loose and suspicious activity circling closer and closer to Shiloh and the people she loves, she realizes there’s nothing to do but roll up her sleeves and get down to the dirty work of finding the killer and clearing Kristy’s name once and for all.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Shiloh Bellamy has many ideas to save her family’s farm and while her dad may not be totally on board with them she plows ahead with them. She is hosting a weekend event with food and activities for all ages. Fall Daze is so well attended on the first day she has to call in reinforcements to bring more food.

As the day is drawing to a close a scream rings out and Shiloh runs to find the body of Minnie Devani near the parking area beneath a scarecrow. Minnie was a force to be reckoned with and may have had some shady dealings that Shiloh’s best friend Kristy called her on in private. Minnie later showed up to cause a ruckus at Shiloh’s event confronting Kristi in front of a bunch of witnesses. That loud little conversation and a key piece of evidence make Kristy the police’s number 1 suspect.

When a U.S. Marshall shows up on the scene  Shi knows she is going to start digging up her own clues and suspects before her bestie ends up behind bars. She also has to figure out if her new next-door neighbor is a friend or a foe and follow up a riddle left for her by her grandmother. She has a lot of seeds to sow and not much time.


I was so happy to return to Cherry Glen and the wonderful characters that reside there. Stacy has sold her half of the farm so Shiloh has a new neighbor. He has plenty of ideas and appears to have the money to see them through which scares Shiloh quite a bit as her dreams for her part of the farm may not come to fruition. He also had some dealings with Minnie Devani. Speaking of Minnie, she is quite a character with a surprising history. We also meet U.S. Marshall Lynn Chuff who brings her own unique twist to the story and really pushes Police Chief Randy’s buttons. Amanda Flower always creates such interesting characters and allows them to flourish in her stories.

This time I must say the story took a really interesting turn when the victim’s history was revealed. It let the story go in several different directions pinning more people as potential suspects in her death. I was totally blindsided though when the killer was revealed. I definitely was so caught up in the story that I must have missed a vital clue or two or three. I love when that happens though, it means I truly escaped into the protagonist’s world and traveled all around with her. Ms. Flower’s descriptive writing style gets credit for that. Her words really bring every setting to life whether it Shiloh’s cabin, a cornfield, the farmer’s market, and every place in between, and makes each character so real.

I really enjoyed this story. The characters, the mystery, the setting, everything about Put Out To Pasture made it A Perfect Escape. The only thing that could make it better was if it came with actual deep-fried Twinkies for us to enjoy while reading it.

Shiloh still has a lot of work ahead of her and a riddle to solve. I can’t wait to return to Cherry Glen for another fun whodunit.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Amanda Flower, a USA Today bestselling and Agatha Award-winning author of over twenty-five cozy mystery novels, started her writing career in elementary school when she read a story she wrote to her sixth-grade class and had the class in stitches with her description of being stuck on the top of a Ferris wheel. She knew at that moment she’d found her calling of making people laugh with her words. In addition to being an author, Amanda is a former librarian with fifteen years of experience in Northeast Ohio.

Author Links:

Website  Pen Name Website     Facebook    Twitter    Goodreads    Pinterest

 

Also by Amanda Flower


Coming August 23, 2022


Coming December 6, 2022



Amish Quilt Shop Mystery Series (writing as Isabella Alan)
Thanks to the publisher 1 have 1 copy to giveaway!

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Contest Will End April 12, 2021, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
The Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Posted in 2022 Reviews Alphabet Soup - A - Z Reading Challenge Alphabet Soup A -Z Author Edition Challenge Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Finish The Series Challenge Flashback Friday Giveaways Literary Escapes Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge TBR Pile Challenge What An Animal Reading Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

#FlashbackFriday – Have Yourself a Fudgy Little Christmas (A Candy-Coated Mystery) by Nancy Coco #Review / #Giveaway @KensingtonBooks @nancy_coco

On Flashback Fridays I will share with you
the books I was not able to review
when they were first released that have been screaming at me
from my To-Be-Read bookshelf.

Have Yourself a Fudgy Little Christmas (A Candy-Coated Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
8th in Series
Setting – Mackinac Island, Michigan
Kensington (October 27, 2020)
Mass Market Paperback ‏ : ‎ 288 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1496727584
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1496727589
Kindle ASIN ‏ : ‎ B085LTPHQY

Christmas on Mackinac Island brings a flurry of festive activity for fudge shop owner Allie McMurphy—but also a body in a snowbank . . .

SNOWED UNDER

All Allie wants for Christmas is for renovations to be finished on the Historic McMurphy Hotel and Fudge Shop so she can move back home for the holidays. But for now she’s staying in her friend Frances’s apartment, busily baking batches of holiday fudge. After someone leaves a mysterious note on the door to meet up, the curious fudge maker goes to the rendezvous with her bichonpoo, Mal—only to discover a woman facedown in a snowdrift. With her dying breath, the woman gasps, “Frances.” The police suspect she named her killer, but Allie knows that’s impossible. She needs to wrap up this case before the trail runs cold—and give her friend the gift of freedom this Christmas season . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

There are not a lot of tourists on Mackinac Island for Christmas but the online fudge orders have Allie very busy. Because the Historic McMurphy Hotel and Fudge Shop is closed for repairs and renovations that means she is doing her fudge making in Frances’s old apartment and rushing the orders to be shipped every day.

There are holiday celebrations and fun to be had on the island though for those who chose to stay or visit through the winter’s snow and cold. A tree lighting, a community lighting show contests, and an awesome sledding hill.

Allie received a strange unsigned note on the apartment door and asking her to meet them near the hill so she and Mal, her bichonpoo, trek out to meet the person. When they arrive Mal drags Allie to a woman facedown in the snow. Everyone does their best to revive the woman but she passes away and utters “Frances” as her last word. Was she naming her killer? Everyone knows Frances would hurt a soul so Allie is on the case to ice the real killer.


I needed just a little more Christmas cheer so I took the opportunity to start to catch up on this series. What better way to spend the New Year’s weekend than taking a virtual escape to Mackinac Island.

Allie, Frances, Douglas, and Rex are back. Liz still hasn’t returned but a blast from Rex’s past has returned to the island ready to fudge up his life yet again. The core characters are very well developed but in this story, we see how two react when they are thrown some icy curveballs. The new characters featured in this story are well written too and have layers that get peeled away nicely.

The mystery deals with a long-held secret. Ms. Coco has written this in such a way as to grab the reader’s attention but give reverence to the feelings of the people involved.

I loved and laughed out loud several times at the group of ladies that invaded Allie’s loaner apartment to help her investigate. Oh, my stars! Rex had the patience of a saint and remained so calm. Allie surprised with their presence and ideas realized early she had absolutely no control over these women. Those dialogues were absolutely priceless.

This is such a fun series filled with wonderful characters.  I blame my cancer treatments for getting behind on reading it. I plan on reading and reviewing Here Comes the Fudge soon, so I am ready for A Midsummer Night’s Fudge when it is released in May. 

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

Coming May 24, 2022

Written as Nancy J. Parra

I am giving away 1 Kindle Copy sent from Amazon.

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Click Here For Entry Form

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Posted in 2021 Reviews Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours New Release Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Bear a Wee Grudge (A Shamelessly Adorable Teddy Bear Mystery) by Meg Macy #Review / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour @KensingtonBooks


Bear a Wee Grudge (A Shamelessly Adorable Teddy Bear Mystery)
by Meg Macy

About Bear A Wee Grudge


Bear a Wee Grudge (A Shamelessly Adorable Teddy Bear Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
5th in Series
Publisher ‏ : ‎ Kensington (November 30, 2021)
Paperback ‏ : ‎ 304 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 149672917X
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1496729170
Kindle ASIN ‏ : ‎ B08Y69JKKM

Teddy bear shop manager Sasha Silverman must step fast to find a murderer before an upcoming Scottish festival . . .

It’s springtime in Silver Hollow, Michigan, and Sasha is looking forward to the village’s inaugural Highland Fling weekend. Plans are underway for a Kilted 5K, athletic competitions, dancing, live music, and even a Hurl-the-Haggis contest. Meanwhile, Sasha’s staff is busy crafting custom teddy bears in kilts for the Silver Bear Shop’s vendor booth. But trouble’s brewing behind the scenes, as the obnoxious Teddy Hartman, former owner of a rival teddy bear company, sows seeds of discord about town, targeting Sasha’s family and their business.

Things go from plaid to worse when—just a week before the festival kicks-off—the disgruntled gossip is found murdered with an ax buried in his back. Sasha’s dad is arrested since he’s a champion ax-thrower. But she doesn’t give a dram what it looks like—Sasha knows that despite the old business rivalry with Hartman, her father is innocent. So with a spot of help from her friends, Sasha must bag the real killer before her first Fling also becomes her last.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Such a happy place! Spring in Silver Hollow, Michigan with a visit to the Silver Bear Shop. A Highland Fling Weekend makes the visit even better. Men in kilts throwing axes, poles, and hammers, along with music, dancing, food, and vendor booths including a Silver Bear booth featuring bears all decked out in the tartan finery.

Most of the men in Sasha’s life are taking part in the athletic events and are in the park practicing when Teddy Hartman arrives on the scene. He has a bad history with the Silverman family and sure has an ax to grind. His wife is even more obnoxious than he is. Don’t even get me started their evil demon dog. It seems their purpose in life is to make the Silverman’s life as un-bear-able as possible. It is not surprising that the man ends up dead – found with an ax in his back. An ax just like Sasha’s dad was throwing at targets earlier.  Because of the drama between the two men, the inept Detective Hunter arrests her dad without an iota of real evidence.

Sasha is not going to sit still for one minute and come mud or high water she with a wee bit of help from her friends is going to clear her father’s name and fling the real killer behind bars as quickly as possible.


I really enjoy catching up with the Silverman family. Ms. Macy has created such a wonderful family. One can be cantankerous at times, another can be a wee bit pushy, a few are very creative, but they are all hard workers and strive to make trips to their teddy bear shop as awesome as possible. Their interactions feel pretty typical for a family the works together, that is until a murder is thrown into the mix.

I will admit my inner voice was cheering when I found out who the victim was, he was an awful man. His wife is a piece of work too and sadly their dog was poorly trained and seemed to always be in attack mode. These unlikable characters were cleverly written too. They drew no sympathy from me or any of the other characters in the book.

The bumbling Detective Hunter really irritated me this time so I was happy when Sasha drew another detective into the web of the investigation. There were more suspects than I first imagined and I should have known better because when he was first introduced in this series I wanted to knock the stuffing out of Teddy Hartman a time or two myself. I thought Sasha did a great job sorting out clues until she didn’t. That little misstep led up to a very exciting ending.

While Bear A Wee Grudge had a little more family fluff than previous books in this series I didn’t think it took anything away from the mystery. I do love the teddy bear theme of the series and was excited by the Scottish theme in this book. The springtime setting was delightful too as the days turn frigid here in the midwest. As always, Meg Macy has written a very entertaining story for readers to escape right into. I had a great time in Silver Hollow!

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About Meg Macy

Award-winning mystery author Meg Macy lives in Southeast Michigan, close enough to Ann Arbor, Chelsea, and Dexter — the setting of her “Shamelessly Adorable Teddy Bear” cozy mysteries for Kensington. She is also one-half of the writing team of D.E. Ireland for the Eliza Doolittle & Henry Higgins mysteries; two books, Wouldn’t It Be Deadly and Get Me to the Grave On Time were Agatha Award finalists for Best Historical. Meg’s first published book, Double Crossing, won the 2012 Best First Novel Spur Award from Western Writers of America. Meg loves reading historical and cozy mysteries, gardening, crafts, and watercolor painting.

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Great Escapes Praise for Bear a Wee Grudge (A Shamelessly Adorable Teddy Bear Mystery)
by Meg Macy

Bear a Wee Grudge is a craicing good time with Highland Fling fun, tartan teddy bears, an axed antagonist, an indolent detective, a frustrated family, cruel chatter, a mean Morkie, and a sleuthing Sasha.
~The Avid Reader

I enjoyed Bear a Wee Grudge, found the mystery interesting, the characters likable, and the story’s pacing to be on target. I love the Shamelessly Adorable Teddy Bear Mystery series by Meg Macy and I look forward to the next book!
~Sapphyria’s Books

BEAR A WEE GRUDGE is an anxiety-laced mystery with a sweet little surprise at the end. I wish I could actually visit Silver Hollow, take a tour of the factory, get myself a wee bear in a kilt, some mead, and more of Bonnie’s chocolate-covered shortbread.
~Cozy Up With Kathy

I enjoyed the story and mystery. It was nice seeing Sasha’s character grow. Her relationship with Jay is adorable, and I love the way that he proposes to her. My rating for Bear a Wee Grudge by Meg Macy is four stars. If you love teddy bears and mysteries, you will like this book.
~Baroness’ Book Trove

I recommend this series and this installment was GOOD. It would help if you read the series from the beginning, but it’s not absolutely necessary. You can read this book as a stand-alone.
~Valerie’s Musings

TOUR PARTICIPANTS
November 30 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW
December 1 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT
December 1 – Literary Gold – CHARACTER GUEST POST
December 2 – Socrates Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
December 2 – Ascroft, eh? – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
December 3 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – REVIEW
December 4 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW
December 5 – Cozy Up WIth Kathy – REVIEW
December 6 – Novels Alive – GUEST POST
December 6 – Baroness’ Book Trove – REVIEW
December 7 – I Read What You Write – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
December 7 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT
December 8 – Valerie’s Musings – REVIEW
December 9 – Mysteries with Character – GUEST POST
December 9 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW
December 10 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT
December 11 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT
December 12 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
December 13 – BookishKelly2020 – SPOTLIGHT  

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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Posted in Cozy Wednesday Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours You Read How Many Books Challenge

Cozy Wednesday featuring Killer Words (Mystery Bookshop) by V.M. Burns #Review / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour @vmburns


Killer Words (Mystery Bookshop)
by V.M. Burns

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

I am very happy to feature Killer Words by V.M. Burns today!

About Killer Words


Killer Words (Mystery Bookshop)
Cozy Mystery
7th in Series
Setting – North Harbor, Michigan
Publisher ‏ : ‎ Kensington Cozies (November 30, 2021)
Paperback ‏ : ‎ 256 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1496728971
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1496728975
Digital ASIN ‏ : ‎ B08Y65TD1X

Bookstore owner and mystery writer Samantha Washington comes to the aid of the cop who once arrested her own grandmother . . .

Sam and Nana Jo are back in sleepy North Harbor, Michigan, where Sam is eagerly awaiting the publication of her first book. In search of more immediate excitement, Nana Jo hits the casino with her fellow Shady Acres Retirement Village gal pals—but they get more than they bargained for when they witness Detective Bradley Pitt decking mayoral candidate John Cloverton.

As Sam well knows, mystery novels are full of brilliant detectives, genius sleuths, and hero cops. Detective Bradley Pitt—aka “Stinky Pitt”—is another story. In the past, the dull-witted detective has mistakenly accused members of Sam’s family for crimes they didn’t commit. Now, it’s his turn: when Cloverton turns up dead, he’s arrested. With his predilection for polyester, Pitt has been wanted by the fashion police for years, but Nana Jo knows her former elementary school math student would never commit murder—it doesn’t add up. Somebody’s framed the flatfoot to take a fall, and Sam and Nana Jo must step in to restore the reputation and good name of Detective Pitt.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Sam is anxious knowing her first book will be published very soon but first in a weird and somewhat delightful twist of fate Detective Bradley Pitt, aka “Stinky Pitt”, gets some of his own medicine when he is arrested for murder after a public altercation, oh heck, it was a smackdown and the subsequent death of mayoral candidate John Cloverton. Sam. Nana Jo, Irma, Dorothy, and Ruby Mae all witnessed the punch but the murder happened later.

There is no love lost between these ladies and the inept Stinky Pitt but Nana Jo knows in her heart he didn’t kill anyone. Positive he has been framed, Sam and the rest of the senior sleuths take on the case to be sure the book isn’t thrown at Detective Pitt. 


I get excited when books in this series come out because I know I am in store for a very entertaining read of not one mystery but two.

The characters in the present-day mystery have become near and dear to me and I love catching up in all of their lives. This time there are a lot of things in flux for several characters that Sam has become dependent on. She also faces some exciting changes of her own, including adding the status of published author to her resume. All these characters have developed realistically which makes it very easy to identify with them in several ways. They are so funny especially the ladies from Shady Acres. They are also darn good gamblers and I love the way they spread out those winnings. Sadly, Oreo and Snickers are getting up there in age but at times they act like young pups. I know how that goes. No matter what they are always the best thing to come home to.

The characters in the British historical mystery, the book Sam is writing, are very interesting too. They always seem to be in the thick of something that includes murder. Set just before WWII Sam draws on a little history in her fictional accounts that engages readers as much as the current day encounters.

Both mysteries are clever with twists and turns and very well written and plotted. I really enjoy the way Sam works out the clues in the current mystery while plotting out her own novel. I also am amazed by the way she can write anywhere she can find a secluded spot even at the casino.

For me, this entire series is a must-read. The mysteries are solid and the characters are genuine.  Each can be read on its own but take my word for it, they are like potato chips, you can’t eat, I mean read just one. Start at the beginning and sit back and enjoy and giggle a little bit too.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

 

About V.M. Burns

V.M. Burns was born and raised in the Midwestern United States. She is a member of Mystery Writers of America, Dog Writers Association of America, Thriller Writers International, is on the national board for Sisters in Crime. She currently resides in the warmer area of the U.S. with her two poodles. Readers can visit her website at http://www.vmburns.com

Author Links:     Website   Facebook   Twitter:  @vmburns    Goodreads     BookBub    Instagram

Purchase Links

Amazon      APPLE    Barnes&Noble     Books-A-Million    Bookshop.Org    Google     KOBO

The Rest of the Series


Also by V.M. Burns

Great Escapes Praise for Killer Words (Mystery Bookshop)
by V.M. Burns

Another fun cozy from V.M. Burns. It was delightful to be back across the one with Sam and the girls.
I enjoyed this read and I have a good size list of the previous titles on my Wish List now.

~My Reading Journeys

This makes for an interesting investigation as she pokes around along with Nana and her gang. Add in the bonus second story written by Sam throughout the book to really make it good. A great choice for cozy fans. I really liked it so I give it 4/5 stars
~Books a Plenty Book Reviews

If you enjoy cozy mysteries and/or historical fiction, don’t miss Killer Words. It’s a racially diverse two-for-one mystery with the best ending ever. 5 stars and a favorite!
~Diane Reviews Books

Bottom Line: Killer Words met all of my preconceived, series-fan expectations, and then some. It was delightfully clever, sweet, and fun with some surprising twists and turns – and even some lovely romantic moments, too. Another entertaining & warmly written visit to the Mystery Bookshop!
~Reading Is My Super Power

One of many things I love about this series is that I feel we get two mysteries in one. Being a midwestern reader, I eagerly look forward to the next book.
~Laura’s Interests

TOUR PARTICIPANTS – Please visit all the stops. 
November 29 – Author Elena Taylor’s Blog – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
November 30 – The Book Diva’s Reads – GUEST POST
November 30 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW
December 1 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT
December 1 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
December 2 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW
December 2 – Diane Reviews Books – REVIEW
December 2 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT
December 3 – Brooke Blogs – CHARACTER GUEST POST
December 4 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
December 4 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT
December 5 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW
December 6 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT
December 6 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW
December 7 – Cozy Up With Kathy – CHARACTER GUEST POST
December 7 – I Read What You Write – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW
December 8 – Reading, Writing & Stitch-Metic – CHARACTER GUEST POST
December 8 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW
December 9 – Novels Alive – GUEST POST
December 9 – Nellie’s Book Nook – REVIEW
December 10 – Here’s How It Happened – REVIEW
December 10 – View from the Birdhouse – REVIEW
December 11 – StoreyBook Reviews – GUEST POST
December 12 – BookishKelly2020 – SPOTLIGHT  

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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Posted in 2021 Reviews Cozy Wednesday Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies Giveaways New Release Challenge Read The Printed Word Challenge Wisconsin Author Wisconsin Setting You Read How Many Books Challenge

Cozy Wednesday featuring The Weaver’s Revenge (A Chloe Ellefson Mystery) by Kathleen Ernst #Review / #Giveaway

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday! 

I am excited to share my thoughts about The Weaver’s Revenge today!

The Weaver’s Revenge (A Chloe Ellefson Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
11th in Series
Setting – Wisconsin/Upper Michigan
Three Towers Press (an imprint of HenschelHAUS) (May 15, 2021)
Paperback ‏ : ‎ 398 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1595988106
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1595988102
Kindle ASIN ‏ : ‎ B09471KLGN

A Killer Weaves a Deadly Blend of Betrayal and Revenge that Threatens Chloe’s Work … and Her Life

When offered a rare opportunity to help develop a fledgling historic site dedicated to Finnish American history and heritage, curator Chloe Ellefson journeys to the remote Northwoods of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

In addition to the consultant job, she’s on a personal quest to learn about the enduring tradition of rag rug weaving. Encountering a dead body upon arrival, however, immediately puts that goal in jeopardy. Although suspicion soon falls on her new colleagues, Chloe is determined to persevere … even if it means ignoring the advice of her new husband, police officer Roelke McKenna. Can she identify the killer and complete her mission, or will all her dreams unravel?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Chloe Ellefson has been given an exciting opportunity to get in on the ground floor of a new historic site in Upper Michigan. This site is featuring Finish American History and Chole jumps at the chance to consult and make program recommendations to the people involved in developing this new historic site. She is also excited to meet some rag rug weavers as that was popular in Finnish history and continues to be in the area.

Chloe arrives at one weaver’s home just in time to discover a dead body. She had such high hopes to tap into the woman’s knowledge, her death has her questioning her whole journey. But she can’t back away from her commitment even when there may be a murderer in her midst. Her new husband, police officer Roelke McKenna is not pleased with her decision especially when he is not there to protect her but he knows Chloe is a strong independent woman and that while she may listen to his advice he knows she isn’t coming back to their home in Wisconsin until all her commitments are fulfilled and now that includes murder.


History and mystery come together in the precise way I expect when I pick up a book by Kathleen Ernst.

Chloe’s part of the story takes place in the 1980s, a time where cell phones, GPS., and the internet are still a dream. She is consulting on rebuilding the Hanka Homestead as of 1920 in the Upper Penisula of Michigan. We go back in time to Finland in May of 1915/16 when Matti Peltoniemi immigrates to the United States. His young wife Liana follows when his letters stop coming. She is on a quest to find her husband who should be in the U.P. The characters we are introduced to in this story are so interesting and believable. I quickly became invested in their lives, especially Liana as she endures a lot and stays strong to find the man she loves. Her journey is full of tough and scary times. My heart broke for her so strongly at one point.

The characters in Chloe’s time are also incredibly written with secrets and strife of their own. Chloe meets many people and attends some community events to learn more about the weaving craft and the Hanka’s time period so that she can get the new historic site off to a good start. She imparts her knowledge about collections and uses elbow grease on some wonderful finds. She also uses her sleuthing skills to ferret out a killer.

The investigation into the death of the weaver is compounded by another death. The author has plotted out a tightly woven mystery full of twists and turns. Clues were difficult to pin down. I had just a little feeling as to where I thought the story was heading. I was only slightly right. The ending ended up totally taking me by surprise. Roelke had a mystery of how one to solve back in Eagle and I eagled out that solution fairly quickly even though he had to deal with an over-the-top victim.

Kathleen Ernst is a terrific storyteller and I credit a lot of that to her time spent at Old World Wisconsin.  Finding and overseeing collections that tell historic stories, this series and her young reader mysteries feel like a natural offshoot for a person who loves history as much as this author does. I always learn something new when reading her stories. I took a great interest in the weaving theme this time because that has been a craft I have been interested in forever. I never had anything wonderful like the looms in this story but I did make a few creations with my tabletop loom.

This is the 11th book in this series and I have loved every one of them. I am so happy Ms. Ernst found a new home for this series! It was well worth the wait to find the right fit. I am looking forward to many more journeys with Chloe. I love her plan for the future.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Kathleen Ernst is a social historian, educator, and author. Her Chloe Ellefson mysteries reflect the decade she spent as a curator at a large outdoor museum, and feature historic sites in the Upper Midwest. Library Journal says, “Ernst keeps getting better with each entry in this fascinating series.” Kathleen has also written many mysteries for young readers. Honors for her work include a LOVEY Award and Agatha and Edgar nominations. Kathleen lives and writes in Wisconsin.

 Author Links – Website    Blog   Facebook

I am giving away my review copy!
The contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US mailing address.

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Posted in 2021 Reviews Alphabet Soup - A - Z Reading Challenge Alphabet Soup A -Z Author Edition Challenge Cozy Wednesday Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies Giveaways New Release Challenge Read The Printed Word Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Cozy Wednesday featuring Farm to Trouble (Farm to Table Mysteries) by Amanda Flower #Review / #Giveaway @aflowerwriter

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday! 

I am so happy to share my thoughts about Farm to Trouble by Amanda Flower today! 


Farm to Trouble (Farm to Table Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Michigan
Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press (February 23, 2021)
Mass Market Paperback: 288 pages
ISBN-10: 1492699918
ISBN-13: 978-1492699910
Kindle ASIN: B089N1KFLV

Coming home to a run-down farm, gossipy neighbors, and a shady investor is a lot to handle… but a murderer on the loose is the final straw!

Shiloh Bellamy cashed in her big city job and 401K to return home to Michigan to save the family farm, but turning Bellamy Farms into a sustainable, organic operation—complete with a farm-to-table café—is no small feat. Especially when her new investor is found dead among the flowers just hours after the contract is signed. Everyone knows her father had a grudge against the investor, and word travels fast in a small town…

Now, Shiloh must clear her family’s name and track down the real killer before her organic farm dreams wilt before her very eyes. But with her father trying to stop any progress on his land, her cousin belittling her every effort, the farmhouse falling down around her, and the whole town believing her family at fault, Shiloh’s small-town troubles are growing much faster than her crops. She’ll have to trust her own investigation or risk all her dreams drying up before they begin.

Dollycas’s Thoughts 

After a traumatic event, Shiloh Bellamy hit the road for California landing herself a dream job. A job that enabled her to send money home to keep the family farm afloat. But her father’s health is failing and so is the farm so she heads home to Michigan with high hopes of making Bellamy Farms a totally organic operation. She also plans to add a farm-to-table café to increase the farm’s bottom line.  She knows to enact her plans she is going to need an influx of cash so she makes a contract with an investor right there in her hometown. When she arrives home she sees the farm is in much worse shape than she thought and her father is outraged to find out his daughter has agreed to take money from Jefferson Crocker.

The next day Shiloh arrives at the local farmer’s market to meet with her new investor but when she finds him she knows there will be no meeting. The man has been murdered and thanks to a loudmouth vendor almost everyone believes Shiloh is a cold-blooded killer. Others believe her father committed the crime. So now Shiloh has her work cut out for her. Her investor is dead, the farm still needs to be revived and now she has to find a killer to clear her dad and herself of murder.


Amanda Flower is a prolific cozy author who never disappoints. As soon as I heard about this series I booked a date on my calendar for Farm to Trouble. In this new series, we meet Shiloh Bellamy, her father, Sully, her cousin Stacey, her lovable pug, Huckleberry, along with assorted neighbors, friends, and other residents of Cherry Glen. While she has passed we also hear plenty about Shiloh’s grandmother. She was a hard-working woman who kept her family on track. She left behind quite a legacy as Shiloh recalls several times things her grandmother said and did. The author took her time and allowed her characters to develop over the course of the story while leaving plenty of room to grow as the series continues.

Ms. Flower captured the attitudes of small-town life perfectly. The cliques, the mean girls, the gossips, the hoity-toity, but a couple of good souls as well. Cherry Glen is a typical midwest town striving to find its footing in the progressing world. Change isn’t easy and many Cherry Glen residents are doing their best to avoid it.

The mystery was very well done featuring a victim who had plenty of enemies. The man liked flexing his financial muscles without a care about the people he left in his wake. Shiloh and Sully just happened to be his current mark. Being gone for so many years made it hard for Shiloh to know who to trust and she didn’t receive a hardy welcome home from many people but she still delves into an investigation to catch a killer. I was totally spinning my wheels until the actual guilty party was revealed. I at least had the person on my list but they were nowhere near the top. Ms. Flower penned a story with excellent twists. I did question some of Shiloh’s behavior with so much on the line but every person has their own way of processing actions and information.

Farm to Trouble has set this series off to a marvelous start. All the mysteries exposed within the book are not wrapped up by the final page. I am really looking forward to Shiloh solving the puzzle her grandmother left behind. I also feel there are some other things Shiloh needs to deal with from her past so she can truly move forward.

Ms. Flower has planted some wonderful seeds that I project will bloom into a very entertaining series. The story has a real true-to-life feel. There is some real family drama and there is a lot of hard work ahead for Shiloh to get close to realizing her dream plans. I think it is going to be very interesting to see the paths the author sets for these characters.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

 

 

About the Author

Amanda Flower, a USA Today bestselling and Agatha Award-winning author of over twenty-five cozy mystery novels, started her writing career in elementary school when she read a story she wrote to her sixth-grade class and had the class in stitches with her description of being stuck on the top of a Ferris wheel. She knew at that moment she’d found her calling of making people laugh with her words. In addition to being an author, Amanda is a former librarian with fifteen years of experience in Northeast Ohio.

Author Links:

Website  Pen Name Website     Facebook    Twitter    Goodreads    Pinterest

 

Also by Amanda Flower


Coming April 27, 2021




Amish Quilt Shop Mystery Series (writing as Isabella Alan)
I am giving away my review copy!

The contest is open to anyone over 18 years old.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

You do not have to be a follower to enter but I hope you will find
something you like here and become a follower.

Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.
Plus 2 Bonus Entries For Liking My Facebook Fan Page.

Add this book to your WANT TO READ shelf on GoodReads
for 3 Bonus Entries.

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

If you publicize the giveaway on Twitter or Facebook or anywhere you will receive 5 Bonus Entries For Each Link.

Contest Will End March 10, 2021, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”